Burma circulated today an official report on the bomb attack that killed 17 visiting South Korean officials and four Burmese in Rangoon one year ago, concluding that it was carried out on the orders of North Korean authorities.
The Burmese offered the unusual document in conjunction with a routine debate in the General Assembly's legal committee on measures to protect diplomatic officials.
Delegates said the report was an unusually strong statement by a government known for its reticence in international affairs. In submitting the 30-page account, Burma said it was appropriate that "this singular diplomatic incident" be spelled out, although it has "no wish to see . . . unproductive political polemics."
Burma said the attack "not only cost many innocent human lives" but gravely violated the norms of diplomacy, "the very mechanism designed to effectuate international cooperation." It laid out what it called "irrefutable evidence" that the Oct. 9, 1983, attack was carried out by three North Korean Army officers acting on government orders.
One of the three was killed and the other two were captured within three days of the explosion, which decimated the top ranks of the South Korean leadership traveling with President Chun Doo Hwan.
The investigation showed that the three debarked from a North Korean freighter in Rangoon two weeks earlier and were harbored by North Korean diplomats, who provided them with the remote-control devices used in the attack.
There was also a hint in the report that the North Koreans may have tried unsuccessfully to sabotage the South Korean president's visit to Sri Lanka several days before he arrived in Burma. The freighter that carried the saboteurs to Burma later docked in Colombo, the report said, but was ordered out of the harbor by local officials.
Burma broke relations with North Korea last November. The two surviving suspects were convicted the following month. The U.N. committee also received reports of attacks on diplomatic personnel from Austria, Belgium, Greece, Jordan and the Netherlands. There was no U.S. report.